By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There is a great deal of talk these days about the future of medicine. A new report in the New England Journal of Medicine takes a closer look.

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According to their report, the individual person will become the focus of attention as research has become more precise. Thanks to electronic medical records outputting data at an unprecedented rate and volume, databases for studies can now number in the millions.

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The reason that this is important is that decisions will be based on data more than anecdotal individual doctor experience.

As technology and the efficiency of sharing information grow, disparities between rich and poor will slowly disappear. A basic standard of treatment for every society will develop. My only fear – and this is my fear and not the scientists writing in the journal – is that the loss of the individual doctor’s experience and total reliance on data may cause us to devalue the one on one relationship that can help so much in care.

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The balance needs to be appreciated.